Oh, hi there! Pardon me while I finish sweeping off the cobwebs that have inched over my blog in these last six months. Its been a soul-searching season.
You see, I had forgotten the why behind my writing for a spell, and grown discouraged by the relatively silent yet seemingly vocal public space to which I opened up my personal encounters with God’s Truth.
Writing for Whom?
A dear friend invited me to be her plus-one to a church event featuring one of her favorite Christian artists and Bible teachers, Ruth Chou Simons, creator of Grace Laced.
As we parked in the last available space near the bottom of a steep hill, we ventured into the uncharted territory of an unfamiliar church property up to a room full of unfamiliar faces where we met with our most Familiar Father.
There, He whispered grace, love, forgiveness, and most importantly, truth into my soul. There, He gave me the gift of perspective: “We artists create for the audience of One,” she said. “We steward our gifts for Him, not for the popular responses we receive and the number of followers we gain.”
Yes. This is why I began Eden’s Mirror. To steward the gifts He endowed me with, if only for Him, my greatest and most significant Audience of One (well, one in three, but I still can’t quite wrap my mind around Him as the Trinity).
I write for you, yes, my readers. Don’t get me wrong. For even us introverted writers must have a relational direction for our work. And you are always in mind when I write. For I long for each person I encounter, whether on the evasive digital world, or in real time, to come closer to Jesus as a result of what I have to say. It is part of the gift I long to steward – to teach, to help others to see God more clearly, and as a result, to love Him and His ways more deeply.
But first and foremost, I needed that reminder to write for Him, not for the responses I receive from His people.
But there is even more to my writing than stewarding my gifts.
A Lost Art
In these last six months, I have asked the question: is blogging outdated? Does anyone, including myself, even read these anymore? In some sense, there is a growing trend toward the shorter Instagram and Twitter bites; for who has time for reading anything at length anymore? I must admit even I do more online perusing than reading with any measure of thought.
So is it worth it to blog? To take the time to pour out sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, heart-bearing reflection upon reflection?
Perhaps not. But perhaps so. Perhaps we need the continual reminder to slow down, to chew on ideas and to thoughtfully reflect. We need to be confronted with the opportunity to allow the process of reading to relax us, like the 1950’s father coming home from work to read his newspaper with his feet up on his recliner. Reading anything beyond one paragraph requires time and attention, and if we writers give up on providing material for that experience, we will not only have failed to steward our gifts to the glory of God, but we will have failed you, our readers, in encouraging and hopefully inspiring you to step out of the instant-gratification world we live in, and allow yourself the time and space necessary for good reading.
This is also why I don’t just share my personal thoughts and experiences all the time. Because I believe you, readers, deserve better than just one person’s opinions. In fact, I think perhaps we have all tired in some way of the millions of opinions floating around in our digital world.
No, I want to write what is worthy of you taking the time out of your already overcrowded days to actually read and reflect. And from all accounts, the only subject deserving of that is God Himself.
Hold Me Accountable
Finally, this is why I invite you to hold me accountable to accurately representing God’s Truth.
I have struggled with my blogging because of the incredible lack of accountability that accompanies digital self-publishing. For little to no money, I can literally present my words in a format that carries a similar but false suggestion as a published book: a book has been edited and published only upon the approval of severe critics and the hard-won affirmation of a large body of credentialed editors and publishers who spend a life-time building up their careers to be in such a position of authority. But visually, how does the printed word online in a blog really appear any different? If half the time, we are reading actual published books online, how is it any different to read a blog? If its online, and accessible by Google, it must carry some weight of truth, right?
That is the dangerous myth of blogging: if I have some followers, and my blog looks professional enough, what I say must be true, right?
How often am I guilty of that same assumption when I am googling medical symptoms or researching a product I want to purchase? For a good majority of us, it is easier to assume that the printed word in the digital world is as good as any published book on the market.
For this reason alone, I almost abandoned my blog all together. I tremble at the thought of the sheer lack of accountability for my words. As a result, I intend to have an accountability partner for my writing.
But even with that in mind, I invite, no I beg you, for those of you who read my words, please don’t let me get away with misrepresenting God and His Word and His people. I don’t trust myself not to make those mistakes and I acknowledge that I will inevitably do so. I am not perfect nor are my words, though I pray they nevertheless draw you to Him who is so incredibly gracious to us in our weakness.
To Be or Not To Be
So why should you keep reading here at Eden’s Mirror, you may be asking. Good question, I’m glad you asked.
Read my blog in order to slow your life down for ten minutes every once in a while. Read it to be reminded how to be and not just do.
Read my blog in order to get to know me personally for those times I share about myself. (I see you, Mom!)
But, please, if nothing else, read my blog in order to get to know God more. Because I trust that despite my failings and misrepresentations, He will inevitably meet you here in this quiet space if you invite Him. He excels at showing up through broken vessels, the way the sun shines through the cracks of a battered old pot. I trust His light will come through these pages, and when it does, He will reflect His goodness in and through you too. To God be the glory.